Adele is one of those mononymous artists who actually lives up to the conceit of a single name.
She’s right up there with Madonna, Prince, and Cher. She is the biggest thing in pop music, seeing off peers such as Taylor Swift and Rihanna with ease.
Adele’s third studio album, 25, was released this month and already the lead single, Hello, has become the first song ever to sell more than one million digital copies in the first week of its release in the US.
In commercial music-land, dominated as it is by sex bombs or “art-pop” divas who wear bizarre costumes in an effort to stand out a la Gaga and Miley Cyrus, Adele should not be the dominant force in music that she is.
She often wears no make-up; her laugh is loud and raucous; and her Cockney manner of speaking has been described as “wartime-landlady”.
Just who is Adele Adkins, and how has she crammed in enough life and love and heartbreak to write three chart-topping albums, gain an MBE; and have a baby at the age of just 27? Let’s find out.
How did she become famous?
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (is this where Jay and Bey got it? They’re definitely fans) graduated from the BRIT School of Performing Arts and Technology in 2006. Her classmates included Jessie J and Leona Lewis.
She thought she might go into A&R (artists and repertoire) after school, but, well, that didn’t quite happen. A demo Adele made for school was posted to MySpace by a friend that year, which led to a recording contract with XL Recordings.
By the following year she’d won a Brit Awards Crtics Choice award and in 2008 her debut 19 was released. It went seven times platinum in the UK and twice in America. She won two Grammys.
James Corden introduced her at the Brit Awards in 2011 by saying, “If you’ve ever had a broken heart, you’re about to remember it.”
She sang Someone Like You from 21 wearing a simple black gown, her hair in an elegant chignon, in an incredible performance that ended in a standing ovation.
Watch Adele performing at The Brit Awards… Post continues after video.
More than 5.5 million people watched the performance on YouTube, and after that came US success that some artists strive for decades to achieve. She was only 22.